Search continues for missing westerm Colorado woman in Utah |

Search continues for missing westerm Colorado woman in Utah

Pete Fowler
New Castle, CO Colorado
Rose Backhaus

After finding her Ford Explorer parked at a trailhead Monday, no one had found further traces of New Castle, Colorado resident Rose Backhaus late Tuesday.

Backhaus, 54, of New Castle, was last seen while checking out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab, Utah, around 8 a.m. Nov. 16. Friends, family and a co-worker said it was extremely unusual she didn’t return home the following Sunday night or to work at Copy Copy in Glenwood Springs the next day as planned.

A tip from an Emery County road department employee led authorities to her Ford Explorer around 2 p.m. Monday. It was parked at the trailhead to the popular Little Wild Horse Canyon in the Goblin Valley State Park.

The 3,654-acre state park is about 70 miles west of Moab. Backhaus reportedly left notes in her car explaining that she had hiked in Moab the day before and arrived Nov. 16 in the state park and was happy. Someone from Colorado also signed in a party of one at the trailhead register that day without giving a name.

Emery County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bliss Mead said searches were conducted Monday night and Tuesday by airplane and helicopter. About 12 people also looked for Backhaus on foot or by ATV while authorities monitored her vehicle and interviewed people coming out of the canyon. Family and friends have also helped search efforts in Moab and now at the state park.

Mead said there were as many as 15 other vehicles parked at the trailhead.

“It’s a really, really high-traffic area,” Mead said. “A lot of people hike this area.”

Mead said authorities planned to continue their search efforts and keep an eye on Backhaus’ Ford Explorer.

“It’s parked right at the trailhead where we’re set up,” he said. “It’s under surveillance. There don’t appear to be any signs of foul play.”

People often hike Little Wild Horse Canyon and adjoining Bell Canyon in an 8-mile loop that includes long and tight narrow passages. There are not usually any easily accessible water sources.

Friends and family have said Backhaus is tenacious, is an experienced hiker, and could do well surviving outdoors.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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